Farm Pond Visualization Study

“Downtown Framingham has a significant waterfront resource: Farm Pond. FDR believes that Farm Pond is an important downtown asset with great potential. Rail yards currently dominate the area, and access to the waterfront is limited.  There is boat access to Farm Pond at the northwestern end of the pond, but connections to the pond from downtown are obstructed. FDR envisions development of the waterfront area so that it may be reconnected to the town on all sides of the pond. Ideas include the construction of a waterfront bicycle and pedestrian path that circles Farm Pond in its entirety with connections in to downtown. A walkway or bicycle trail across the Sudbury aqueduct is another possibility, as is increased boating access to the pond.”

This view has been endorsed by the Framingham Downtown Urban Design and Land Use Assessment, which noted that “currently, the pond is separated from the downtown by an active rail line and adjacent rail yards. The potential to create additional access to the pond’s shoreline from the downtown has been identified by prior studies and community initiatives. If supported by further investigation, the creation of a pedestrian link to the existing natural resources and open space would greatly contribute to and enhance the level of amenities and quality of living in and around downtown.”

Discussions involving FDR and Framingham State University (FSU) led to the formation of a joint task force with Town officials to pursue these issues. Members of FDR, faculty and administrators of Framingham State University, Town of Framingham administrators and the Framingham Park & Recreation Dept. started a series of meetings to plan for rejuvenation of Farm Pond. The goal is to increase access to the pond from downtown, enhancing the attractiveness of downtown as a place to visit, and helping to implement part of FDR and FSU’s comprehensive plans. Additional efforts undertaken by the group aim to determine the types of animals that inhabit the area, map the pond, detail its history, make important sites available, and open up this lovely area to the public. This work will also support environmental goals of the University’s Green Program.


Photo by Pixabay

HELP THE HONEYBEE THROUGH BACKYARD BEEKEEPING BY CHRISTY ERICKSON

The honeybee pollinates three-fourths of all flowers, plants, fruits, vegetables and crops. To put it in perspective, if there was a decline in the honeybee population, there would be a dramatic affect on our food supplies.

The honeybee helps us enjoy fruits, vegetables, nuts, and a variety of other resources. California grows 80 percent of the world’s almonds and they need honeybees to grow, and $3 billion of the annual U.S. crop and food economy depends on honeybee pollination. That’s a lot of responsibility for such a tiny animal.
The honeybee is not in danger of dying out, but population numbers around the world are in decline.

And while this is a global problem, there are a few things you can do locally.
● Learn more about bees
● Don’t use pesticides, or only use bee-friendly varieties
● Start a backyard or urban beekeeping hive
● Plant a garden

The Role of the Honeybee
There are about 3 trillion honeybees on the planet. For the last 120 million years they’ve been pollinating flowers and plants. A honeybee can cover 4 miles a day as it searches for pollen and nectar to collect, and the average bee can collect from more than 100 flowers and plants in a day. Remember, most of the food that humans eat is created through pollination.
The biggest threats to the honeybee are insecticides, parasites, and crops doused in chemicals and pesticides. Insecticides and pesticides are used to kill insects and pests that eat crops, but they also make honeybees weak, prone to disease, and too dizzy to find their homes. To add to their troubles, the varroa mite has been killing off and weakening honeybees since the 1980s. The results of these problems is a detrimental effect on honeybee populations.


Help the Honeybee at Home
There are lots of things people can do to help increase honeybee populations.
Buy locally-produced honey, support local farmers markets, plant a garden, or start a backyard beehive.
Anyone can become a private beekeeper with an outdoor or backyard beehive - currently, there are more than 100,000 backyard, urban and private beekeepers in the U.S.


If beekeeping is too much of an investment, consider starting a garden. A bee-friendly pollinator garden or even a fruit and vegetable garden can be a great way to help local bee populations and beautify your lawn.
The honeybee has been around for a long time. Prolific as it is, this ancient insect still needs a little help. By staying aware and doing your part to help the local bee populations, you’re helping our food supplies stay safe for the future.